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Can Calc use Math to show Formulas?

asked 2017-10-30 12:36:44 +0200

David.Cheshire gravatar image

updated 2017-10-30 13:13:54 +0200

When I edit a formula in Writer it shows the equation graphically in the document, which helps to identify errors.

When I edit the same equation in Calc it shows the operators and cell references like this:

=(1+C$3*$B10)*(1-C$5*$B10)/SQRT((1+C$4*$B10)^3*(1-C$6*$B10-C$7*$B10^2))

It is not so easy to spot errors in this. It would be useful if Calc were able to display the formula graphically in equation form like Writer does.

The page www.libreoffice.org/discover/math/ says "Math is LibreOffice's formula editor, and can be invoked in your text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and drawings, " and I know that Math can be linked into Calc to enter graphical formulas into the sheet as illustrations rather than working equations.

Can Math be used to graphically display a formula already entered into a Calc cell?

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No, the Math object can be inserted into a Calc document in the same way as into Writer document, but it's not a calculatable object; just an object to design math formatting.

Also, Math's syntax is incompatible with Calc formulas.

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2017-10-30 12:39:20 +0200 )edit

Thanks, I thought that might be the case.

It would be nice to have a way of graphically displaying Calc formulas, that would make the input of complex formulas easier.

David.Cheshire gravatar imageDavid.Cheshire ( 2017-10-30 13:18:18 +0200 )edit

As a rudimentary tool you may use the multiline-mode in the formula bar. As long as you are writing there, you can even insert line breaks (by Ctrl+Enter). They will be cancelled, however, when the formula is finally entered. Spaces survive.

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2017-10-30 14:29:43 +0200 )edit

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answered 2017-10-31 08:14:18 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

There is a cheat trick which could provide something more or less close to what you request.

To insert a formula in a blank cell or edit an existing formula: select the cell and Insert->Function... or Ctrl+F2.

Then go to the Structure tab in the dialog. You edit the formula in the Formula box with the tree structure displayed in the Structure box at left.

This is rather rudimentary but may help.

If this answer helped you, please accept it by clicking the check mark ✔ to the left and, karma permitting, upvote it. If this resolves your problem, close the question, that will help other people with the same question.

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Thanks, I hadn't seen that Function Wizard. It is not clear to me what the Structure box is supposed to show, but if you copy the formula from my original question and paste it into the Formula box, the display in the Structure window is not very helpful. (It's a real formula, not just random.)

David.Cheshire gravatar imageDavid.Cheshire ( 2017-11-08 13:49:44 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2017-10-30 12:36:44 +0200

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Last updated: Oct 31 '17